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[18] The senate permitted Lucius Octavius and Caius Cotta, the consuls, to put up to auction at Rome the tenths of wine, and oil, and of pulse, which before your time the quaestors had been in the habit of putting up in Sicily; and to establish any law with respect to those articles which they might think fit. When the contract was offered for sale, the farmers begged them to add some clauses to the law, and yet not to depart from the other laws of the censors. A man opposed this, who by accident was at Rome at that time; your host,—your host, and intimate friend, I say, O Verres,—Sthenius, of Thermae, who is here present The consuls examined into the matter. When they had summoned many of the principal and most honourable men of the state to form a council on the subject; according to the opinion of that council they gave notice that they should put the tenths up to auction according to the law of Hiero.


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